ASPCA® and Mayor's Office Take on Animal Cruelty in Baltimore

New Task Force Seeks Justice for Victims, Looks to Prevent Future Crimes
July 8, 2009

NEW YORK—In response to the recent fatal burning of a dog named Phoenix that shocked the Baltimore community, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and the city of Baltimore have teamed up to create an Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force. The task force, which will be unveiled today at a press conference at Baltimore City Hall, will work to help the city of Baltimore prevent and prosecute animal cruelty, including dog fighting.

“The ASPCA was horrified to learn of what happened to Phoenix,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, Vice President of Anti-Cruelty Field Services for the ASPCA. “We have long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes, and we look forward to working with the city of Baltimore to help put a stop to these violent injustices against animals.”

In addition to Dr. Lockwood, who will sit on the task force, other members will include representatives from the State Attorney’s office, the Baltimore City Council, the Mayor’s office, BARCC (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Center), and MDSPCA (Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The task force will meet regularly over the next year to establish steps the city should take to combat this problem and will submit its recommendations to Mayor Sheila Dixon in a report next summer.

“The protection and safety of animals in the City of Baltimore is an important concern,” said Mayor Dixon.  “This is more than a legal issue. This is a community issue.  If you improve animal welfare in a community, you improve public safety for everyone.”